On Mother’s Day…

I’m sitting next to my early riser who is literally licking her plate clean after consuming a monkey bun from my sister’s bakery. My big girl and I get up and sit on the couch while everyone else is sleeping. She watches early morning PBS and I journal, read my Bible, and read my favorite blogs. She drinks milk, I drink coffee. Really without this part of my day, I’m a monster.  At first, I’d sneak out of my room, jumping from board to board in our little bungalow, avoiding creeks. Now, her circadian is set to mine. And she meets me in the hall. What was a frustration at first, her interrupting my “me time,” is now “our time.” And it’s the time she sees me loving Jesus, reading from his word, learning from him, praying. It reminds me of my mom…

DD, Mom, KT, Me

I love my mom daily, but Mother’s Day does lend itself to think, pause, and appreciate all the ways my mom gave and gives.

I can’t even look around my living room in my home, without seeing her influence:

Piles of books on the shelf. It was mom who taught me to love reading. It was mom who made me read the classics and wouldn’t allow me to amass a huge library of Babysitter’s Club, but instead Little House and Anne of Green Gables. It was mom who had us reading every day during the summer. Mom who bought us children’s books even as adults. Books I read to my own children. It was mom who nurtured my own love of story telling. She wrote down my narrations even as a 4-year-old, when I couldn’t write.

The Cityscapes and Photography hung on the wall. The way I hang pictures, influenced by mom. ‘Hang them at eye level, not too high, not too low.’ Her quiet sense of style and her way of making a home HOMEY and lived in, yet cute, (hopefully) transferred to us. Playing with color, playing with design, playing with room lay out. I’m never quite satisfied with a piece of furniture from a store. It must have a story. It must be a deal. That’s from my mom.

I can’t go through a day, without attributing much of it to mom:

Keeping life simple and fun. My mom didn’t force us to do sports or music or dance.  My youngest sister and I took piano. My middle sister took art. We all played softball briefly and lost every game (save one forfeit). And we took free tennis lessons one summer. But we weren’t a family going from here to there chasing college scholarships. We did what we liked. We were happy. We weren’t dictated by schedule or culture. We had people over for dinner and sat around the table for hours, laughing and eating. Life was simple. Life was fun.

Ordinary life was special.  In the summers we had popsicles every day at 3pm on the porch. On the first day of every season, we got little presents to celebrate the new Season, pjs’ on Christmas eve, travel presents for long car rides, tea parties, homemade cherry limeades, the list goes on and on.  Mom made life special.

Tea Party (mom and CB)

When the world criticized, mom esteemed. My mom (and dad) swear to this day that I was cute in 7th grade, even when I show them proof that I was NOT. But back then, I thought I was beautiful…because of them.

She loved dad and God first. My mom let me in on a secret over a cup of coffee, when I was about 17, “I always put dad first.” WHAT? Over us? I was offended…until my selfish little teenage soul understood. My mom and dad’s relationship gave us stability and confidence. It was good and healthy for us to see THEM love one another. It took me into my late 20s to find my own one and only. I think often, it’s because mom and dad set the bar so high in their love, that I could not settle. Now as a mom, I get it. She also loved God above all else, even dad. Every morning, mom and dad could and can be found, on the couch, coffee in hand, reading God’s word and praying. Perhaps that is the biggest gift they gave me.

The most important job in the world is shaping little souls, raising little people. Thank you mom, for how you raised us. I am endlessly grateful. I love you!

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